Shane Doan is the latest player to book a suite at the Shanaban Hotel. The Coyotes captain was suspended for three games, following a hearing regarding his elbow on the Stars' Jamie Benn during Tuesday night's contest.
While it's going to be tough for the slipping Coyotes to maintain traction in the Western Conference playoff chase, by losing their captain and third-leading point scorer, they should consider themselves lucky.
How Doan only received three games for this hit is beyond me. As Brendan Shanahan clearly states in the video below, Doan not only has a history with suspensions, but, he was fined just less than a week ago for a dangerous hit.
Rene Bourque, while still a member of the Calgary Flames, was suspended for five games just over two months ago for a very similar hit. Much like Shanahan's assessment of Bourque's hit, he felt Doan did not intend to injure Benn, but rather an "instinctive," yet reckless motion while reacting to a play. Also, much like Doan, Bourque was a repeat offender, and had recently been disciplined for another dangerous hit.
The only difference? Bourque received a five-game ban.
Much like Bourque's elbow on the Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom--who hasn't played since the incident--Doan only received a two-minute minor penalty for the elbow, which proved to be an integral factor on the outcome of the game for the 'Yotes.
After serving his time in the sin-bin (he also picked up a five-minute fighting major in response to the elbow), Doan went on to assist on both Coyotes' third-period goals, helping them force the shootout.
Earning the extra point was crucial for the Coyotes, as the fight for the final playoff spots in the West has turned into an ever-changing dog fight.
Currently tied with Los Angeles for the eighth and final playoff spot, although the Kings have the tiebreaker, the Coyotes are only one point away from the seventh place Colorado Avalanche. With that being said, they're also only two points ahead of the 11th-place Calgary Flames.
Losing Doan from a lineup that was already missing leading-goal scorer, Radim Vrbata, and one of their top defenseman Adrian Aucion, will undoubtedly be difficult to overcome. However, as history shows us, it could have been a lot worse.